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Oakman58

Thinking About Giving Up Cruising

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I love cruising but DANG, we always get sick before the end of the cruise.  We just returned from an Alaskan cruise/tour on the Westerdam with six other couples.  Of the 14 people, 7 of us came down with something.  Most of us had a hacking cough and extreme fatigue, one of the women in our party was diagnosed with Aussie Flu and had to be given and IV at the Urgent Care in Denali and yes, she had gotten a flu shot this year.  My wife and I take all the precautions, hand sanitizer, washing hands, wiping the cabin down with antiseptic wipes, etc. but it doesn't seem to keep us from getting sick.

 

I have two more cruise booked, one is past the final payment date so we will definitely take that cruise.  If we come down with something on this upcoming cruise I will cancel our remaining cruise and probably give up cruising.  It’s just not worth spending two weeks trying to recover from an illness after a cruise.

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My aunt declined to come with us (we were going to pay for room w/drink package) on an Alaskan cruise and that was the reason she gave. But then she went on a EU River cruise! I guess she figured that was a smaller number of people to catch something from!

 

My sister and my mom, both immune-compromised, still cruise -- but they do plan their grocery shopping for times that the store should be less crowded! You can catch something anywhere there are lots of people. My sis wears a nose-and-mouth mask on planes as well.

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It is often referred to as cruise ship crud. In addition to the usual hygiene precautions try getting out of the air-conditioned spaces more often and use a nasal moisturiser.

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Another thought, you can build up your immune system at home before you go. And that means you have to be careful with over cleaning and using antibacterial soap. I used to tell people that a couple of months before I travel, I go to the mall and lick all of the hand rails and door knobs. But actually my wife has an in-home daycare and we have germs coming and going all day through the front door.

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Posted (edited)

My husband and I are different in almost every way, but the one thing we share is that we too often get sick coming off the ship. It may be that one of us gets sick and shares it with the other, but it happens far more often than when we  travel by any other means. I’m in my 50s and got a sub clinical case of strep throat after an Alaska/Canada cruise and post-cruise vacation last summer (and never had strep ever the entire 50+ years prior!!!). Certainly those with compromised immunity will be at greater risk, but I think it’s entirely more risky as a travel method in general when it comes to viruses. 🤦🏼‍♀️😷😓 And that’s too bad, we love cruising!

Edited by 2Beeze

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I have close to 50 cruises over the last 16 years and can honestly say I don't recall ever getting sick! I am 61 (if that matters).

Maybe I have a good immune system?

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I only have about 13 cruises, just started in the last few years and I am 76 and can also say that I've never gotten sick!  I do wash my hands frequently. I also wipe down the phone, tv remote, door handles etc. with Clorox wipes upon arriving in my cabin but that's probably overkill!! 😀   I only do it once!  

 

Sue

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To help boost the immune system, take 1000 mg of Vitamin C twice a day. Or, something like Airborne.

 

I have to fly USA-Pacific once a year to visit the parents. I use to always get sick. Doctor recommended the mask and vitamin C. It worked. Mask works on a 14 hr flight. Not so much on a week long cruise. Take all the precautions of not touching your face with your hands unless you just washed them.

 

 

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I work in a school with over 2000 kids. Im in close contact with kids. I made it though flu season here just fine. Had my shot I havent beeen sick in years. Dh and I came off a cruise and he got sick on the drive home. Ive been sick a week and dh 9 days. Worst flu I have ever had. Im an fanatic about hand washing , not touching railings etc. UGH! Im going on plenty more cruises though. I figure dh is not a fanatic and he infected me since he got sick first. Guess he better becoma a fanatic too!

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When I've felt under the weather during or after a cruise I'm pretty sure it came from the airplane flights.  

 

So far taking Airborne the week before flying to our last two or three cruises and taking Airborne during the cruise may have helped. I think I took it the week following a cruise once.  I probably should do the following week every time now that I'm getting older.  

 

 I now also turn the air off when I arrive at my seat on planes.  I think the blowing air directly on me affected my sinuses and maybe blew more germs at my face, eyes, nose, throat.  So far with the air not blowing at me seems to have helped my eyes and throat not dry out so much too.

 

I have to watch the temperature and, if possible, the direction of the air vent in the cabin during the night.  If it's too cold and pointed straight at me, I'm more likely to have problems, but then,  I have to watch those things at home too, or I end up not feeling 100%.

 

I clean some items in the cabin when we first arrive and occasionally during the cruise because I'm more aware of keeping my hands cleaner and away from my face than my husband is.  

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On 6/25/2019 at 7:38 PM, 160july said:

I work in a school with over 2000 kids. Im in close contact with kids. I made it though flu season here just fine. Had my shot I havent beeen sick in years. Dh and I came off a cruise and he got sick on the drive home. Ive been sick a week and dh 9 days. Worst flu I have ever had. Im an fanatic about hand washing , not touching railings etc. UGH! Im going on plenty more cruises though. I figure dh is not a fanatic and he infected me since he got sick first. Guess he better becoma a fanatic too!

 

That is a problem for sure! I already have such a hard time trying to keep my hands from my face and using hand sanitizer (I try to use the stairs often, but I have always liked using the rail). But it only takes one of the family to touch the wrong button then move the hair from their face and it’s all over 🙄 

 

i know some people like to think it’s their fabulous immunity, and I hope that they remain well - but while traveling to places where you are unlikely to have immunity to their bugs, it is most likely to be an issue of luck (and just how many different hands are touching those buttons!). I knew I really liked that Grandeur for some reason, few hands and more who have lived long enough to know to keep using that hand sanitizer  😉

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Getting sick on a cruise is always a possibility but we all can take steps to mitigate the risk. We must accept that when you have a number of people, originating from different places, and put them in a contained area, the risk of some type of exposure increases. People are bound to arrive from areas where there is an outbreak of flu, cold or some other contagious illness. Particularly during the winter.  Statistics show that people enjoying all inclusive resorts run the same risk of contracting an illness as those on a cruise ship and it is always sad when a perfectly great vacation is interrupted when you get sick.

Everyone always focuses on the restaurants and their cabins, but ships have a huge number of common areas such as the lounges, bars and theaters.  Stairway railings, ATMs, interactive screens in places like the photo shop. These are all places where the transfer of germs is possible. Factor in fatigue from travel to the ship, or those last-minute pre-cruise preparations, and people arrive excited but with a system that is tired and out of sync.

The suggestions that you wipe down things in your cabin are excellent, and frequent hand washing or use of sanitizer great practice. If I feel unwell, I rest. Missing out on activities for one day can prevent missing out on a number of activities for several days.

I hope you don't give up cruising if you really enjoy it and it is unfortunate that you have had some bad experiences. Good luck on your future cruise.

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You have to put your health first....some folks are simply very susceptible to other's germs....some aren't!  

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I have a lowered immune system due to having a bout with MRSA years ago, so I am uber careful these days.  If I get sick, it hangs on for not just days, but weeks.  If I get sick after travel, I pretty much feel it's due to the plane ride.  I've been buying wipes to wipe off everything and I'm at the point where a mask is in my future.  The girl in my office smokes and it's been known to set me off (I have asthma issues in the winter) so I know potentially anyone I stand around could cause me an issue.  The only thing I know to do at this point to keep myself able to go the way I want to is to take care of me and be proactive.  

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islandgirlejfan, I wish you only healthy travels.

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I think the OP is making a good decision.  If something always made me sick, I would stop doing it.  

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We have 20 cruises under our belts. My wife and I have each been sick once on a cruise. My wife got sick on the very first night of a five day cruise. That we attributed to our Disney World Mickey's Very Merry Christmas visit two days before. There a lot of sniffling kids there in December. My sickness was a sore throat on a 23 day trans-pacific cruise. I have sinus problems, so I think I will attribute that to sinus drip. Other than those two times, we have been well.

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Posted (edited)

I have been sick once on a cruise, one of those cold bugs . . . so I asked the bartender by the pool what he would recommend  . .  now realize, I am usually a 2 drink gal . .  . he made me a drink of port and brandy and told me it would make me feel better!  Well, I don't know if it helped my cold, but I didn't care ! lol!

I am so sorry that you feel the need to quit cruising, and I can understand why  . . my wish for you is to be able to find your joy is just a fun way or a major shift happens so that you no longer get sick cruising!

 

Edited by West Coast Gal

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On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:03 PM, Mike981 said:

Another thought, you can build up your immune system at home before you go. And that means you have to be careful with over cleaning and using antibacterial soap. I used to tell people that a couple of months before I travel, I go to the mall and lick all of the hand rails and door knobs. But actually my wife has an in-home daycare and we have germs coming and going all day through the front door.

Close. Hubby and I work in elementary school cafeterias!

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My next cruise is in September and I will be taking Air Born, Vitamin C, and Zinc everyday and using those little bottles of anti-bacterial hand lotion religiously.

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I got off the Westerdam on July 14 with a raging sore throat........it turned into a respiratory infection I am still trying to fight. It now feels like it has traveled to my sinuses. There was a notice left in our room of a respiratory illness spreading through the ship, and our waiter one morning said he was happy to see us since so many people were sick. After reading your post I am wondering if it just keeps getting circulated from one cruise to the next? There were a lot of people coughing from what I can remember!

This was my 15th cruise and the first time I have gotten sick..........I don’t think there was much I could do to prevent this with a “sick” ship.

I will still keep on cruising though, but if I see more than one person coughing a mask may get put on, lol!

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Have not gotten sick on any of our cruises (and we are at 50+ so far with 11 more booked), however, we ALWAYS eat in the Main Dining room.  We stay away from the buffet area except to get tea or coffee...and we also Clorox wipe EVERYTHING in our cabin as soon as we arrive...light switches, phone, remote control, door and balcony handles, faucet, desktop...you name it. 

 

Hoping you find your next cruises PERFECT and without health issues spoiling them.

 

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From more than 30 years of traveling (much of it to week-long meetings gathering around 1000 people from around the world), I've found the biggest factor in whether I get sick is getting adequate sleep. It can be easy when traveling to burn the candle at both ends and time changes can disrupt sleep. Now I take care to get adequate sleep and rarely get sick on a trip.

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On 7/14/2019 at 1:25 PM, ldubs said:

I think the OP is making a good decision.  If something always made me sick, I would stop doing it.  

I agree!  I'm getting sick and tired of paying taxes every April!  Would you suggest I just quit?

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